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De Havilland DH 98 Mosquito — one of the best, bar none

16 January 2012

De Havilland DH 98 Mosquito — one of the best, bar none

Known as “The Wooden Wonder” and “Mossie”, all nicknames for an aircraft of many roles, this is one of WW IIs’ best aircraft designs. The de Havilland Mosquito flew high and fast, so much so that it could not be intercepted, never needing defensive armament. Mosquitos also flew daringly low in Operation Jericho, the exceptional daylight bombing raid on the Gestapo prison in Amiens France on 18 April 1944. There were almost countless other variants such as: attack and night fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon and 4 x .303 caliber machine guns, photo recon, even maritime strike with a 57mm cannon in addition to the 4 x .303 caliber machine guns.

The US Army Air Force (USAAF) obtained about 140 Mosquitos, using them in several roles. The aircraft displayed with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was manufactured as a B Mk 35 but has been restored to represent a Mosquito XVI as a weather reconnaissance aircraft of the 653rd Bombardment Squadron late in WW II. The museum’s fact sheet can be seen here.

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito XVI as a weather reconnaissance aircraft of the 653rd Bombardment Squadron late in WW II — photo by Joseph May

A wide-angle lens perspective of the Mosquito on exhibit in the National Museum of the USAF — photo by Joseph May

Mission symbols of this "Mossie" — photo by Joseph May

In a time of scarce materials, and with a work force in Great Britain extremely skilled in wood work, de Havilland decided at the outset to build the wings and fuselage with plywood. The story of this aircraft and how it was almost nixed was told quite well by Ross Sharp of Shortfinals’s Blog. His synopsis of the Mosquito and how it very nearly did not come to be can be read in his post entitled De Havilland B.35 Mosquito, RAF Museum, London and ‘The People’s Mosquito’ Project, published on 29 December 2011.

Mosquito — cannot buy it?

Build it!

Ross Sharp introduced us to The People’s Mosquito Project where a new aircraft will be made from the historic molds used by de Havilland. These are modern and exciting times with many historical aircraft being produced for flight and this Mossie will no doubt be chief among them. Seeing in on this exciting and unique project, joining it or supporting it can be done by going to the following links:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 January 2012 10:49

    Man!…the British certainly knew how to design _exquisite_ shapes , didn’t they!

    • travelforaircraft permalink
      16 January 2012 11:40

      And odd ones at times! There may be better looking aircraft than the Mosquito but I can’t think of any.


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